- Also char·ac·ter·is·ti·cal. pertaining to, constituting, or indicating the character or peculiar quality of a person or thing; typical; distinctive: Red and gold are the characteristic colors of autumn.
- a distinguishing feature or quality: Generosity is his chief characteristic.
- the integral part of a common logarithm.Compare mantissa.
- the exponent of 10 in a number expressed in scientific notation.
- the smallest positive integer n such that each element of a given ring added to itself n times results in 0.
Origin of characteristic
SynonymsSee more synonyms for characteristic on Thesaurus.com
1. special, peculiar. 2. attribute, property, trait. See feature.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for characteristic
He wears his characteristic white shalwar kameez with a tattered gray waistcoat.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley
Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman
November 15, 2014
Most have been straightforward cases where the child came in with the characteristic rash.Predator Doctors Take Advantage of Patients With ‘Chronic Lyme’ Scam
September 19, 2014
Any person or group can be prejudiced against another group, for any reason and based on any characteristic.What We Need Are Anti-Racists
August 24, 2014
It's remarkable, too, that during his delivery, Lou showed no significant signs of slurred speech, often so characteristic of ALS.The Stacks: The Day Lou Gehrig Delivered Baseball’s Gettysburg Address
July 4, 2014
But the men, not less, perhaps even more, characteristic of New England, were the Puritans of our day.The Real Memorial Day: Oliver Wendell Holmes's Salute To A Momentous American Anniversary
May 26, 2014
The physique of the true fashionable is peculiar and characteristic.
But the most characteristic display of all is the "Cabinet."
The interview with the Sultan was the last, and was interesting and characteristic.
The poem is in four cantos, the first of which is the best, and the most characteristic of the author.Biographical Sketches
Perhaps, in that characteristic might be found a clue to the chief fault in his nature.Within the Law
- a distinguishing quality, attribute, or trait
- the integral part of a common logarithm, indicating the order of magnitude of the associated numberthe characteristic of 2.4771 is 2 Compare mantissa
- another name for exponent, used esp in number representation in computing
- indicative of a distinctive quality, etc; typical
Word Origin and History for characteristic
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A distinguishing feature or attribute; character.
- A structure or function determined by a gene or genes; trait.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- The part of a logarithm to the base 10 that is to the left of the decimal point. For example, if 2.749 is a logarithm, 2 is the characteristic. Compare mantissa.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.